2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin

Executive PhD in Business Administration

The Daniels College of Business Executive PhD is a 90-credit hour comprehensive three-year blended program that immerses students in conducting applied business research. Students will gain rigorous research skills to address the complex programs facing business today. The program will integrate your career experience with a thorough education in quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis and mixed methods, teaching you to find powerful, data-driven business insights.

Daniels has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) since 1923.


The Daniels Executive PhD is a cohort-based program with lock-step curriculum which enables students to maximize cross-learning, collaboration and networking.

Class Schedules

This is a hybrid program delivered online and in-person. During the first two years of the program, students will attend nine on-campus immersions which are held from 8am – 4pm Friday and Saturday. In the third year of the program, students are required to come to campus at least once time to meet with their dissertation chair and committee.


There are no concentrations or electives offered for the Executive PhD Program. The dissertation stage of the program will enable students to conduct research in their area of interest.

Doctor of Philosophy in General Business

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2018 Priority Deadline: April 1, 2018
  • Fall 2018 Final Submission Deadline: June 1, 2018

Admission Requirements

  • Online admission application
  • $100 Application Fee
  • University Minimum Degree and GPA Requirements
  • Transcripts: One official transcript from each post-secondary institution.
  • GRE: Test scores are not required but will be accepted.  
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two (2) letters of recommendation are required from accomplished individuals (non-relatives) who can personally attest to your abilities.  It is strongly recommended that one of these letters come from your current employer (if applicable) expressing support for your pursuit of the Executive PhD program.  All letters should speak to your accomplishments, leadership abilities, intellectual curiosity and potential for success in a rigorous, fast-paced doctoral program.  Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.
  • Essay: One required and one optional essay. Essays are assessed for clarity, organization, conciseness and grammar. The essays should communicate what the candidate hopes to achieve at Daniels and in the future and how he/she will contribute to the Daniels community.
    • Required: Statement of Purpose should demonstrate 1) a solid rationale regarding why you are interested in pursuing an Executive PhD in Business Administration at the Daniels College of Business at this point in time, 2) how your professional experience will facilitate your success in the program, 3) intellectual curiosity with respect to an issue in business that can be addressed by applied research, and 4) your career goals and aspirations upon graduating from the program.
    • Optional: Is there anything else that we should know as we evaluate your application? If you feel your credentials and essays represent you fairly, please don’t feel obligated to submit another essay. (250 words). 
  • Résumé: Submit a professional résumé that demonstrates the scope of professional experience and educational achievements. Utilize our résumé guidelines for assistance.
  • Other Requirements: Applicants may be contacted by a Daniels representative to schedule an admissions interview, which will be conducted on campus or via webcam. The admissions interview is an opportunity for both you and Daniels staff to evaluate whether or not the program is a good fit. Interviews are by invitation only, sent after all other application requirements have been completed.

Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for the degree program are:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (paper-based test): 575
  • Minimum TOEFL Score (internet-based test): 94 (No less than a 20 on any section) 
  • Minimum IELTS Score: 7.0 (No less than a 6.0 on any section) 
  • Minimum CAE Score: 185 (No less than a 170 on any section)
  • English Conditional Admission Offered: No, this program does not offer English Conditional Admission.

Executive PhD in Business Administration

Degree Requirements

ACTG 6300Behavioral Research in Accounting Seminar4
BUS 6000Research Methods in Business4
BUS 6001Qualitative Research Methods4
BUS 6002Quantitative Methods I- Making Discoveries with Data 4
BUS 6003Quantitative Methods II - Making Discoveries with Data 4
BUS 6004Data Analytics4
BUS 6300Seminar in Cross Disciplinary Decision Making Research 4
BUS 6301Research Seminar in Innovation and Creativity4
BUS 6500Applied Research Practicum Series: I2
BUS 6501Applied Research Practicum Series: II4
BUS 6502Applied Research Practicum Series: III4
BUS 6503Applied Research Practicum IV 4
FIN 6300Seminar in Finance Research4
MKTG 6300Marketing Research Seminar4
Dissertation Research in Business
Total Credits82

Non-Coursework Requirements

Comprehensive Exam

Every PhD student must pass the comprehensive exam. To qualify for the comprehensive exam, the student must complete the required coursework consisting of research methodology/statistics, research seminars and the Applied Research Practicum (ARP) series with a minimum GPA of a 3.0. In no case may more than one-fourth of the coursework counted toward comprehensive exam eligibility and earning the degree be grades of a “C." A grade lower than “C-renders the credit unacceptable for meeting eligibility to sit for the comprehensive exam and university degree requirements. Coursework taken at another university may not be applied to the coursework requirement.

The program chair will appoint a committee of scholarly qualified faculty to write the comprehensive exam.  This exam will cover topics in the research methodology/statistics and research seminar courses.  The exam will be take-home, and students will be given several days to complete it.   The committee will grade the exam, and make a recommendation to the program chair on whether a student passes or fails. A failed exam may lead to dismissal from the program.

Sufficiently prior to the exam date, the program chair will appoint an examination committee of scholarly qualified faculty. The committee creates the exam and grades it. After the exam, the committee makes a recommendation on whether the student passes or fails.

Dissertation Proposal Defense

Following successful completion of the comprehensive exam, each student will prepare a dissertation proposal and defend the proposal to the dissertation committee. A successful dissertation defense qualifies the student to Ph.D. candidacy. The dissertation proposal should be prepared in close consultation with the student’s advisor and should be available to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the exam. It should reflect an extensive critical literature survey, and contain an accurate assessment of the state-of-the-art in the area of research, a precise statement of the research question, motivation for pursuing the research, and the research method design that will be used to answer the research question.

The dissertation proposal must be successfully defended within four quarters of passing the comprehensive exam. Successful defense of the dissertation results in agreement between the student and the committee as to what will constitutes successful completion of the dissertation research.

The composition of the dissertation proposal committee must comply with the standards specified by the University of Denver Doctoral Degree Requirements and Standards. The dissertation proposal defense is an oral closed exam. If a student successfully defends the dissertation proposal but subsequently switches advisor and hence topic, the dissertation defense must be repeated within one year to ensure capability of the student and feasibility of the project.

Dissertation Defense

After the dissertation has been completed, the student must defend it in a final oral exam, as specified by the University of Denver Doctoral Degree Requirements and Standards.

University of Denver Doctoral Degree Requirements and Standards


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